Anxiety is one of the most common health problems in Australia. Approximately 1.3 million adult Australians (12% women and 7.1% men) are affected by anxiety disorders during a 12-month period.
What is anxiety, and how does it manifest in everyday life?
Anxiety is defined as “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill / fearful concern or interest.”
Of course, most of us have experienced anxiety before, as it is a common response to stressful environments or situations and luckily these feelings generally subside when the situation or stress is removed.
However, an anxiety disorder develops when negative feelings of stress, worry, or confusion are present for long periods of time. Quite understandably, a disorder like this can seriously affect a person’s ability to cope with daily life as well as their ability to find pleasure in daily activities.
When someone suffers from an anxiety disorder, they may feel fearful, anxious, or even irritable for a long period of time, often without any apparent reason or cause. They may also experience depression in addition to the anxiety, and/or struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.
Three common symptoms of anxiety disorders are:
- Feeling stressed, ‘on edge,’ and irritable much of the time, even when things are going relatively smoothly. Feeling close to ‘snapping,’ and that you can’t handle any more. You may also find yourself dreading or avoiding certain situations, because you anticipate feeling too far outside of your comfort zone.
- Struggling to make decisions, because you’re worried about the possible outcomes. Feeling confused and overwhelmed – like your life is out of your control.
- Experiencing physical symptoms you can’t really explain, such as body aches, allergies, chest pain or tightness, itchy skin, excess energy or fatigue, nausea, night sweats, or persistent infections. These symptoms become more noticeable when you’re faced with the prospect of doing something that makes you uncomfortable.
Because there are so many different kinds of anxiety disorders (including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder), the symptoms can manifest in many different ways.
People with an anxiety disorder may experience the following symptoms at a level so intense, it keeps them from functioning at their normal capacity. Symptoms may include:
- Spending a lot of time worrying about everyday things
- Anxiety interfering with work, school, or family responsibilities
- Fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake
- Worrying that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way
- Avoiding everyday situations or activities because they may cause panic or anxiety
- Experiencing heart palpitations due to panic
- Feeling like danger and catastrophe are often around every corner
Psychological treatment has been found to be very effective in the treatment of anxiety, so help is available.
Our psychologists at Aspire Health & Psychology in Newport, Victoria will be able to provide you with more information regarding the different treatment options available for clients who are suffering from anxiety or an anxiety disorder.
You can find Aspire Health & Psychology just 15 minutes from the Melbourne CBD at 461 Melbourne Road, Newport, Victoria and by phone on (03) 9391 9866. Our clients are based in surrounding suburbs including; Altona, Brooklyn, Caroline Springs, Deerpark, Docklands, Elwood, Essendon, Footscray, Hoppers Crossing, Keilor, Kingsville, Laverton, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds, Newport, Point Cook, Port Melbourne, Seabrook, Seaholme, Seddon, Spotswood, Sth Melbourne, St. Kilda, Sunshine, Tarneit, Werribee, West Footscray, West Melbourne, Williamstown and Yarraville.